THE ECONOMIST -- Cobalt derives its name from Kobold, a mischievous German goblin who, according to legend, lurks underground. For centuries it vexed medieval miners by looking like a valuable ore that subsequently turned into worthless—and sometimes noxious—rubble. Once again it is threatening to cause trouble, this time in the growing market for batteries for electric vehicles (EVs), each of which uses about 10kg of cobalt. The source of mischief is no longer in Germany, though, but in China.
REUTERS -- The automotive industry is waking up too late to the fact that China will hold most of the world’s supply of cobalt, a key metal for electric vehicle (EV) batteries, Glencore Chief Executive Ivan Glasenberg said on Tuesday.
“If cobalt falls into the hands of the Chinese, yeah you won’t see EVs being produced in Europe etc. They are waking up too late ... I think it’s because the car industry has never had a supply chain problem before,” Glasenberg told the FT Commodities Global Summit in Lausanne, Switzerland.
REUTERS -- A new mining code was signed into law on Friday by President Joseph Kabila despite vigorous opposition by global mining companies with operations in Congo such as Glencore, Randgold and China Molybdenum.
Royalties paid to the government from cobalt and coltan mining will jump to 10% from 2% previously. Miners of the two metals used in batteries, would have paid a royalty of 3.5 % under the new code if they had not been designated as strategic.
The government considers minerals with the "strategic" designation important for the economic, social and industrial future of the country.
BUSINESS INSIDER -- China has signed a huge deal to secure the lion's share of global cobalt supply — a core component of electric car batteries.
The deal will see GEM — a $4.6 billion company listed on the Shenzhen stock exchange — purchase 50,000 tonnes of cobalt from mining company Glencore over the next three years.
According to the Financial Times, that's equal to half of the world's total cobalt supply in 2017 — and comprises around one third of Glencore's total production estimates through 2020.
GLOBE NEWSWIRE -- International Cobalt Corp. (CSE:CO), the “Company” or “International Cobalt”) is pleased to provide the following announcement in relation to recent reports naming cobalt as a crucial supply chain mineral.
The company notes the release of the US Geological Survey Report on the Critical Mineral Resources of the United States (USGS Report), as well as President Donald Trump’s Executive Order to develop a federal critical minerals strategy. The USGS Report includes cobalt in its list of 23 metals and minerals that are critical to the national security and economy of the United States.